back to top
Latest UpdatesSpecial DaysFestivalsSammakka-Sarakka Jatara: The Grand Celebration of Tribal Heritage

Sammakka-Sarakka Jatara: The Grand Celebration of Tribal Heritage

Nestled deep within the heartland of India, the tranquil village of Medaram, located in Telangana’s Mulugu district, bursts into a riot of colours, sounds, and spiritual fervour during the biennial tribal festival known as Sammakka-Sarakka Jatara. Often referred to as Medaram Jatara, this extraordinary event unfolds in the month of Magha, typically coinciding with Sudha Pournami, the full moon day, which usually graces the second or third week of February. This festival serves as an awe-inspiring showcase of the profound traditions and rich cultural heritage of the Koya tribal people.

The Legend Behind the Name

Sammakka-Sarakka Jatara pays homage to a momentous tribal uprising that unfolded in the 12th century. During a period of devastating drought, the Kakatiya rulers imposed harsh taxes on tribal communities. Leading the charge against this injustice was the formidable mother-daughter duo, Sammakka and Saralamma. Today, millions of pilgrims gather in Medaram to seek the blessings of the warrior goddess Sammakka and her daughter Sarakka during this grand fair.

A Festival of Remarkable Scale

Sammakka-Sarakka Jatara proudly bears the distinction of being the largest tribal religious festival in Asia. Official records from the Telangana government reveal that this three-day extravaganza attracts over 10 million devotees hailing from various Indian states, including Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Jharkhand. The magnitude of this gathering underscores the festival’s profound significance in the hearts and minds of the attendees.

Enriching Rituals and Offerings

Visitors to Medaram during the festival are treated to a spectacle of rituals and offerings. Devotees bring vermilion, jaggery, and sacrificial animals as offerings to the revered goddesses. They sing songs that eulogize the valour of Sammakka and Sarakka, believing that these deities possess the power to infuse courage into their souls. Before presenting their offerings, devotees must purify themselves by taking a dip in Jampanna Vagu, a tributary of the River Godavari, cleansing their souls of sins.

The fields surrounding the Medaram temple sprawl across several acres, and neighbouring villages teem with temporary shelters erected to accommodate the influx of devotees.

Three Days of Devotion

On the first day of Sammakka-Sarakka Jatara, tribal priests ceremoniously retrieve the casket of vermilion, believed to belong to Sarakka, from the forests. The atmosphere resonates with the frenzied beats of drums, the blaring of trumpets, and unceasing chants. Deities representing other Koya warriors are also brought forth on this day.

The second day witnesses the emergence of the principal deity, Sammakka, from Chilakkalagutta. Devotees offer jaggery equivalent to their own weight to the goddess. Other valuable items such as money, saris, bangles, gold, and coconuts find their place on the temple’s altar. Fowls and goats are sacrificed to honour the goddess’s divine presence. On the third and final day, the priests return the deities to their forest abodes, marking the poignant conclusion of the festival.

A River of Significance

One of the most revered aspects of Sammakka-Sarakka Jatara is the ritualistic dip taken by devotees in Jampanna Vagu, a tributary of the River Godavari. This waterway derives its name from the tribal warrior Jampanna, the son of the tribal goddess Sammakka, who met his heroic end while confronting the Kakatiyan Army in this very stream. Local lore attributes the river’s striking red hue to Jampanna’s blood, although scientific analysis attributes the colour to the soil and mineral composition.

Navigating the Journey

Medaram remains a remote destination nestled within the Eturnagaram Wildlife Sanctuary, a part of Dandakaranya, the largest surviving forest belt in Mulugu. Accessing this spiritual haven is facilitated by special Medaram Jatara-bound trains departing from Secundrabad Railway Station to Kazipet/Warangal. From there, travellers can catch a Jatara-bound TSRTC bus. TSRTC also provides special bus services from Warangal and Hyderabad to Medaram village, with region-specific queues at Medaram Bus Stand to streamline traffic management.

Sammakka-Sarakka Jatara stands as a resplendent testament to India’s diverse tapestry of traditions and spirituality. It beckons people from diverse backgrounds to celebrate the tenacity and valour of its tribal heroes, Sammakka and Sarakka. More than just a festival, it is a testament to the enduring spirit of a people and their unwavering faith in their ancestral deities.

Published at :

Follow Us on Google News for Latest, Top, Trending, and Viral News, Photos, Videos, and Updates from Rajasthan, India and Across the World